CHAMPCAR/CART: Portland open test, day two notes

RuSPORT's A.J. ALLMENDINGER LEADS THURSDAY CHAMP CAR TESTING AT PORTLAND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY PORTLAND (April 15, 2005) -- Last year's Roshfran's Rookie-of-the-Year A.J. Allmendinger ( ...


PORTLAND (April 15, 2005) -- Last year's Roshfran's Rookie-of-the-Year A.J. Allmendinger (#10 RuSPORT Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) looks to be regaining his form after setting the fastest time in two days of testing at the newly reconfigured Portland International Raceway.

Allmendinger led a field of 16 competitors over the course of two days around the 1.969-mile Portland International Raceway layout which has been changed since last year's event. PIR officials have paved over the gravel trap area in the tricky Festival Curves, a spot where many a driver has seen their podium dreams sink. The Champ Car teams were testing in preparation for the June 19 Champ Car Grand Prix of Portland Presented by G.I. Joe's, Round Four of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford.

"Overall I think we had a great day of testing," said Allmendinger. "We made a lot of progress on the car from start to finish. We still have a bit more work to do, but we really narrowed the gap of where we were and where we should be. I had the quickest lap of the day, so I'm pretty happy."

The 23-year-old, Allmendinger set the fastest lap at 57.04 seconds and was joined at the top of the speed charts by his RuSPORT teammate Justin Wilson (#9 SanDisk Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) who clocked the second quick time of 57.11 seconds.

"I think we had a pretty reasonable day," said Wilson. "We learned more, made progress, and continued our push forward. It's a very positive situation here at RuSPORT because we know what needs improving and what we need to do to get it done. So, I think it was a good day."

Mario Dominguez, (#7 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) who led yesterday's test session improved his time to 57.18 seconds. Dominguez was followed on the charts by Alex Tagliani (#15 Aussie Vineyards Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) who recorded a best lap of 57.20 seconds.

"There's still so much we can learn about the Lola," said the Canadian Tagliani. "We have been trying a lot of configurations here and have done some great long runs with full fuel. We wanted to simulate race conditions and I think we can be competitive here in June. We also worked hard on our fuel mileage during this test."

Fellow Canadian Andrew Ranger (#27 Mi-Jack/Tide Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) rounded out the top-five with a time of 57.40 seconds. In all eleven drivers eclipsed the 2004 pole time of 59.229 seconds by more than one second.

Teams will now prepare for the May 22 event at Fundidora Park in Monterrey, Mexico.

<pre> Times for Thursday's testing as reported by Cosworth engineers appear below.

1)  A.J. Allmendinger   #10 RuSPORT Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone                      57.04
2)  Justin Wilson       #9  SanDisk Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone                      57.11
3)  Mario Dominguez     #7  Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone                       57.18
4)  Alex Tagliani       #15 Aussie Vineyards Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone             57.20
5)  Andrew Ranger       #27 Mi-Jack/Tide Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone                 57.40
6)  Bruno Junqueira     #2  PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone                   57.41
7)  Paul Tracy          #3  Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone                       57.44
8)  Timo Glock          #8  Deutsche Post Speed Academy Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone  57.46
9)  Sebastien Bourdais  #1  McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone                   57.52
10) Ryan Hunter-Reay    #31 Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone                 57.65
11) Oriol Servia        #19 American Medical Response Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone    58.15
12) Marcus Marshall     #5  Aussie Vineyards Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone             58.49
13) Nelson Philippe     #34 Mi-Jack Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone                      58.60


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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Justin Wilson , Bruno Junqueira , Alex Tagliani , Paul Tracy , Oriol Servia , Mario Dominguez , Ryan Hunter-Reay , Sébastien Bourdais , A.J. Allmendinger , Nelson Philippe , Marcus Marshall , Andrew Ranger , Timo Glock